Madrid: Nude Protesters Converge On Australian Embassy As Australian Wool Boycott Resumes

Boycott Relaunched After Wool Industry Groups Fail to Come to the Negotiating Table and Improve Conditions for Sheep

For Immediate Release:
4 October 2005

Anita Singh 020 7357 9229, ext. 228

Madrid, Spain – Nude PETA members – with the Australian flag painted on their backsides their bodies covered in “blood” – will hold a lively protest at the Australian Embassy against the wool industry’s refusal to embrace a landmark agreement between PETA US and a prominent group of wool producers that would have resulted in an immediate reduction of lamb mutilations and an end to PETA’s international boycott campaign. Flanked by giant posters of bloody sheep and signs reading, “Australia: Stop Mutilating Lambs,” the naked PETA posse will officially re-launch the Australian wool boycott in the UK:

Date: Wednesday, October 5
Time: 12 noon sharp
Place: Australian Embassy; Plaza Descubridor Diego de Ordás, 3
28003 Madrid

The action in Madrid is one of multiple protests taking place around the world this week to mark the resumption of PETA’s international boycott of Australian wool after a moratorium was announced in August. The boycott resumes after two major wool industry groups, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and WoolProducers, flatly rejected a landmark agreement between PETA US and the Australian Wool Growers Association (AWGA) that would have resulted in live export reforms and an immediate and industry-wide reduction in lamb mutilations.

The agreement between PETA US and AWGA provided a timetable for phasing out “mulesing” mutilations (in which skin and flesh are cut from lambs’ backsides with gardening shears) and would have ended exports of live sheep to countries that fail to meet Australian animal welfare standards. AWI and others refused to do anything other than criticize the plan during the 45-day moratorium despite the urging of major retailers – including Benetton, Gap Inc., Liz Claiborne, Lands’ End, L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, Jones Apparel Group, Nordstrom and Ann Taylor – which have all expressed support for the PETA US / AWGA agreement and interest in the new, more humane brand of wool created by the agreement. The new brand will provide retailers worldwide with wool from farmers who are part of the structured plan to end “mulesing” and live exports to countries that do not meet Australian animal welfare standards.

“The wool industry has had 45 days to agree to consider the compromise agreement but has done little more than give lip-service to their claims to care about animal welfare”, says PETA Managing Director Ingrid E. Newkirk. “It’s only a matter of time before AWI and WoolProducers realize that they won’t be able to give their wool away until they agree to stop torturing lambs and sheep”.

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